Wellness Consciousness

Wellness consciousness is an understanding that there are many factors involved in a person’s health and well-being. It involves a holistic view that addresses several dimensions of health including the physical, emotional, social and spiritual.

All of these dimensions are interconnected. When one dimension suffers, it can negatively impact all other dimensions.


Many people associate wellness with healthy behaviors such as proper diet, exercise, weight management and routine medical exams. This is only part of the picture, however. The wellness continuum extends beyond avoiding illness and stress to include other aspects of health such as fulfilling one’s purpose, enjoying happy relationships and finding loving self-acceptance.

Physical wellness involves fueling the body with nutrient-dense food and hydration, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and practicing safer sex (condoms/stereotactic lubricant, screening tests, etc.)

Developing your physical wellness also includes trying new activities to challenge yourself. For example, running a 5K or taking up a new sport you’ve never played. This is a great way to explore your personal wellness.


Emotional wellness involves an awareness of the full range of human emotions and a capacity to express them in healthy ways. It inspires self-care, relaxation and stress reduction and encourages the development of inner strength. Emotional wellness allows people to acknowledge whatever feelings they are experiencing in a given moment, including negative ones, honestly and nonjudgmentally.

It also means developing a greater ability to regulate those emotions, such as by distance, time or space. This helps individuals avoid unhealthy behaviors that are prompted by negative emotions, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, which can lead to poor physical health.

A growing awareness of wellness has made many people aware that mental and physical well-being are connected in a feedback loop. However, emotional well-being isn’t as commonly considered in the context of overall wellness.


If you’ve ever played the video game The Sims, you’ll know that a “needs” panel included a social bar. This is an indicator of the need to interact with others and feel connected.

Achieving a sense of community and belonging, having a good support system, and showing respect for people is considered social wellness. This includes understanding and accepting people with a different sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, socioeconomic status and life experiences.

Employees who prioritize their own social wellness may find that they are more able to help and support the needs of others. In the workplace, this means encouraging employees to take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer or contribute in ways that speak to their sense of purpose.


Spiritual wellness involves having a high level of faith and hope, a strong commitment to individual beliefs that give purpose to life. People with this form of wellness tend to be able to cope with life’s obstacles and hardships with a sense of grace and tranquility. They are also able to show others how to deal with problems, even if they do not directly benefit them.

Spiritual habits that improve wellness include meditation, yoga and gardening. Writing is another common activity that promotes spiritual wellness, Intermountain Healthcare reports. Journaling can help you explore your values, plan your week and get in touch with your emotions. Other ways to cultivate spiritual wellness include chanting or praying, studying the bible and other religious texts, attending church services and walking in nature.


This dimension of wellness encourages a way of living that maximizes harmony with the natural environment. It inspires a healthy lifestyle and promotes environmental awareness, especially of the limits to the Earth’s natural resources.

Some practices of environmental wellness include gardening, reducing waste through using reusable water bottles and containers, recycling, and conserving energy; volunteering; donating blood and/or food; standing up for respectful or hateful comments and behaviors that create a negative social environment; recognizing the interaction between your surroundings, your community, and yourself (e.g., campus safety and health, wellness and safety resources).

Spending time outdoors is also an important component of environmental wellness, such as exploring the City of Newport News parks and hiking trails. Taking time to breathe fresh air and soak up the sunshine will boost your overall wellbeing!